When the Bees are Long Gone (Stung – A Book Review)

Stung (Stung #1)
Author: Bethany Wiggins
Published: 2013

On Goodreads

Stung - The Scarlet Reader

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

 

There is no cure for being stung.

One minute Fiona is thirteen and being put to sleep for her safety and the safety of everyone else, the next she wakes up older and confused. There’s a strange tattoo on her hand, but these tattoos marked the infected, mindless, violent beasts.

Worse, she’s on the wrong side of the wall. She doesn’t know why or how, except that she’ll have to conceal her tattoo by any means necessary, especially after she’s caught by the militia. Now she’ll have an old friend and a new, shaky ally to stay alive as it becomes more obvious that she isn’t like the other tattooed beasts.

In this world, where a bee sting was more dangerous than anything else, Fiona may just help save it. That is, if she doesn’t end up dead first.

 

Fiona reawakens in a world that has completely crumbled because of the extinction of bees. People have to self-pollinate their fields. Women are scarce. Violent being that were once people roam the desolate world, destroying any living thing that crosses its paths.

 

How was this book? It is straight down the middle for me. It was good, but it wasn’t great. Call me psycho or morbid or anything, but I’ve always wondered about a world without the bees. It’s a real possibility. They’re going extinct and it sucks. I love bees. They help gives all kinds of things we need from food to beauty to life. So, I was pretty amped up. BUT. Yep, a but. Everyone has them and we all like to shake them. So, here’s a little shake-shake. There were pros and cons to this book.

Fiona was an interesting character. She struggled with her new reality because in her head she still felt like she was thirteen. I found that to be one of the COOLEST things in this book. It was so unique and incredibly realistic. Fiona had to play catch-up really fast and she had some help from her old neighbor/slash friend, Bowen, who’s no longer thirteen either, but seventeen, nearly eighteen. While there’s a spark between them, the progression between them went from subtle and gentle to suddenly macho speed and was very weird. He was so guarded against her and by the end of the book it was as if he couldn’t live without her. Just the way it came about was too rushed for my liking.

Scarlet Reader - Slow Down

The plot of the story was predictable and reminded me of The Maze Runner, but I loved it anyway. The way it came about was unique and bleak. I was thriving to see more of it. Wiggins did such a great job creating this dead world. I could imagine the dead and barren, grey wasteland and the vibrant, tech city behind a great wall. The law and lack thereof in this universe were horrifying. You don’t want to be a girl here. Although, not going to lie, I wouldn’t mind reading a book where men are the rare ones alive. Just saying.

Some parts of the book came off as ridiculous and filler. Not good filler either, sadly. The flashbacks on Fiona’s life really added to her backstory, but it was some of the interaction between her and Bowen that felt like too far of a stretch. Like, it was forced. However, there were some lines that were so good they took my breath away.

As I said, this book was right down the middle.

 

Overall

I like and didn’t like this. It’s really a 50/50. I may read the sequel just to see how it goes for Fiona and see if she and Bowen could have a life together. This wasn’t a mind-blower, just a decent read to pass the time.

 

Quotables:

“I don’t remember going to sleep. All I remember is waking up here—a place as familiar as my own face.” (Fiona, p. 1)

“I will not die without fighting for a life I am not yet done living.” (Fiona, p. 253)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Crave by Tove Lo.

 

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